Monday, February 24, 2020

Comments by Tom

Showing 4 of 4 comments.

  • As a director of student mental health services on college campus, as well as a counselor educator and researcher, I appreciate the interest of the author on this important topic. Nevertheless, recommending/privileging yet another theory/technique flies in the face of what the science says matters. Less than 1% of the total variance that contributes to clinical change can be attributed to theory and technique. Less than 1%! All theories and techniques produce the same degree of effectiveness regardless of diagnosis; this is known as the Dodo Bird Verdict. Rather than focusing on a particular theory and technique, counselors would be wise to focus on whether THE theory and techniques that they employ are working for THIS client with THIS problem in THIS setting and with THIS counselor. Each client may require a different approach…in fact, that’s what the literature suggests. When such is the case, most clients get most of the benefit of counseling within a relatively short period of time (i.e., 6-8 sessions). In real practice, all approaches are brief approaches whether designed as such. Psychotherapy remains one of the most effective forms of heath care–having an effect size of .79, which means that it’s more effective than most medical treatments with the major exception of surgery. In summary, when someone has been sexually assaulted, it’s better to focus, not on what theory/approach is being used, but rather whether what’s being used is producing the change that’s desired.

  • Thanks, Jay, and very timely. Just last Friday, one of my minor clients explained her symptoms through the lens of genetic and chemical abnormalities. I asked whether she’d be interested in different views and lent her a copy of your earlier book, Gene Illusion, and Valenstein’s book. Thanks for fighting the good fight.

  • Cindy,

    Thank you for your post. I was about to sign the petition but then noticed the citation of Scientology’s CCHR. Unfortunately, while I may agree with the fundamental premises of CCHR, I have to accept that the broader citizenry regards any affiliation with Scientology as a reason to dismiss the argument(s). Hence, in my writings, I’ve stayed as far from CCHR/Scientology as possible, which means never citing them as sources. Fortunately, there is such a mountain of empirical support for your arguments that CCHR-as-a-reference is unnecessary and potentially distracting. Please keep up the good work. Your voice, added to the chorus of advocates, is vital to the cause.

  • In 2009, I published an article in the Journal of Mental Health Counseling, in which I illuminated the parallels between my profession and cult-indoctrination. It’s title, “The Loss of Client Agency into the Psychopharmaceutical Industrial Comples.” You can google it and/or find it on; or, you can access it here: